...are used for communication and data transfer between different devices, for example between PC and measuring instrument. User data can be exchanged via interfaces, but also control commands, process, and measurement data can be transferred to laboratory, industrial and test applications. Thus, remote control or automation of systems is also possible via an interface. Depending on the type of interface, different media (copper cable, fibre optic, radio), speeds (baud rates), transmission techniques (serial, parallel), protocols etc. are possible. In test and measurement technology, for example, these interfaces are commonly used:

  • Ethernet/LAN, LXI, WLAN/Wifi.
  • USB.
  • GPIB (IEEE488, HP-IB, IEC).
  • RS232, RS422, RS485, field buses CAN, PROFIBUS, MODbus.
  • PCI, PCI-Express.

With converters, interfaces are adapted. A USB-to-serial converter for example can be used to convert a standard USB port into an RS232 interface. Media converters, on the other hand, change the transmission medium - for example, to transmit USB or Ethernet via fiber optic cables. Repeaters are signal amplifiers, used to extend the range of an interface.